Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?

helloBARK!
By helloBARK!
Updated on 22 October 2020
Expert Content

Have you ever pondered whether your dog has a belly button?

When I got my second Alaskan Klee Kai puppy, I noticed that he appeared to have what looked like a belly button.

When we went to the vet for his 10-week check up, I was told that it wasn’t a belly button but an umbilical hernia.

Dogs do have belly buttons but it isn’t always visible given most of our canine companions have hair covering it up.

If your dog doesn’t have much hair around their lower rib cage, you may spot a little scar that is their belly button.

We spoke to seven experts to get a definitive answer to the question: do dogs have belly buttons?

It Could Be An Umbilical Hernia

Rebecca A. Packer, MS, DVM, DACVIM and Founder of Pre-Veterinary Mentoring Group

Dogs have belly buttons for the same reason that other mammals, as well as humans, have them. During pregnancy, as the puppies are growing in the uterus, they get their nutrition through the placenta and umbilical blood vessels.

Once they are born, the umbilical cord is cut and tied off (if the puppies were born by cesarean section) or often chewed off by the mother dog after giving birth. As the remaining umbilical tissue dries and heals, this leaves the small scar we see as the belly button.

The process is similar to humans, but the end appearance is slightly different. Whereas human belly buttons are either an innie or an outie, dog’s belly buttons are very flat and difficult to see. But every dog has one!

In some cases dogs may appear to have an “outie” belly button, but this is actually abnormal and called an umbilical hernia. Umbilical hernias are small outpouchings of skin and underlying fat, and may resolve on their own as puppies become slightly older.

In some cases a veterinarian may need to perform a minor surgical procedure to fix an umbilical hernia. All placental mammals have belly buttons, they may just look slightly different from species to species!

Terrier mix rolls in the grass (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Terrier mix rolls in the grass (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Their Belly Buttons Can Be Covered By Fur

Dr Rachel Barrack, DVM, CVA, CVCH of Animal Acupuncture

All placental mammals have belly buttons therefore dogs’ belly buttons are just like humans’— it is the spot where an umbilical cord is attached while in utero and how nutrients and oxygen were transported to the fetus.

The umbilical cord falls off, just as it does with humans, and then you are able to see their belly buttons.

However, dogs’ belly buttons are not as prominent as humans.

This could be because dogs chew off the umbilical cord a few inches from their bodies and the remnants fall off, whereas humans have their umbilical cords tied before they fall off.

Their belly buttons can also be covered by fur as the dog grows.

It Is Not As Noticeable As It Is In Humans

Dr Nabil El Ouahdani, a Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and Blogger for vetallpet.com

A belly button or a navel represents the scar left after the umbilical cord is cut off, which is a flexible structure that connects the foetus to the placenta, so as to provide him with nutrients and eliminate waste.

Do dogs have a belly button? Yes, of course they do!

Yet, it is not as noticeable as it is in humans. And this is mainly due to:

• The abundance of fur in dog’s belly, which cover it completely.

• The small diameter of the blood vessels contained in the umbilical cord when compared to those of humans.

Copper the Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Copper the Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

A Mere White Scar

Laurel Davis, DVM and Holistic Veterinarian

Do dogs have belly buttons? Heck yeah, they do! Aren’t they a member of Mammalia along with all of the other cute and inspiring little beings we cuddle up to, frolic with, hold in awe and entrust with our deepest feelings?

These navels are not innies, nor outies but a mere white scar, oh so flat and unremarkable, right there in the middle of the belly, just a few inches from their central ribcage.

It’s truly remarkable and hard to believe that this modest belly blemish was once where your pup was intimately connected to his mama, with all nutrients, immune goodies and oxygen pumping in via the umbilical cord.

Let’s not forget that it also was the venue for your beloved Fido to relieve himself of nasty toxic waste materials such as carbon dioxide and urine while he was in the womb.

The Mother Will Chew The Umbilical Cord And Placenta Off

Dr Sara Ochoa, Doctor of Veterinarian and Veterinary Consultant for Doglab.com

A belly button is where the umbilical cord was attached. When your puppy is developing in the mother’s womb, the umbilical cord supplies the developing puppy with blood, oxygen, and nutrients.

Once your puppy is born, they no longer need direct support from their mother but will get the nutrients that they need via a mother’s milk. The mother will chew the umbilical cord and placenta off of the puppy when they are born or your vet will remove these if your puppy have a c-section.

What is left is a dog’s belly button. There may be a very small hole in the belly button that does not close, this is an umbilical hernia. This can easily be fixed by your vet.

Dogs Have Belly Buttons The Same Reason That Humans Have Belly Buttons

Dr Sarah Wooten, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and Vet Expert at Pumpkin Pet Care

Dogs have belly buttons the same reason that humans have belly buttons – it is where their umbilical cord was attached! When puppies are in utero (inside their mother) they get all their nutrients and oxygen through the umbilical cord, which is attached to a placenta.

After a dog is born, the remnants of the umbilical cord dries up, falls off.. and leaves a scar that is the equivalent of a human belly button. They don’t tend to have innies or outies (unless they have an umbilical hernia), just small, flat white inch long scar located on the midline of the dog’s abdomen.

English Bulldog rolls in the grass (Photo: Adobe Stock)

English Bulldog rolls in the grass (Photo: Adobe Stock)

It’s Incredibly Different From The Human Belly Button

Jeff Carbridge, Dog Trainer and Expert at DogOwner.co.uk

Yes, they do have belly buttons but…

Canine belly buttons aren’t like human ones. While all mammals have a belly button (except the platypus and egg-laying marsupials), they are not in the same place and they certainly don’t look the same. You will find a dog belly button is located at the base of the rib cage between their nipples.

It looks like a scar

For most dogs, when you locate the belly button it will have the appearance of a small, flat, vertical scar that is very noticeable. It’s incredibly different from the human belly button, and you will find that this type of belly button is quite common for many mammals. Interestingly, no other mammal has the same kind of belly button as a human.

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